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Clippers bully Nets in 127-95 rout as Lin and Lopez sit out

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA thus far. They’ve displayed some admirable fight, and have been rewarded with four wins thus far.  But on Monday night, they went up against the team that is arguably playing the best ball in the NBA. The top-ranked Clippers (10-1) bullied the Nets (4-6), 127-95, Monday night at the Staples Center. It was their seventh straight win.

The game was the first  of a back-to-back. Those are three of the most feared words for Nets fans because it means Brook Lopez is likely out for one of the two games.  That meant the Nets played a tough Clippers team without Lopez and Jeremy Lin.. The expectations weren’t very high. The Nets simply didn’t have the talent to match.

The Clippers came out of the gate and played the young Nets as you'd expect. They took a 29-point lead at one point and led 39-14 after the first quarter. It was the lowest scoring quarter of the season for the Nets, who shot 24 percent from the field.

The Nets looked like a deer in headlights on both sides of the ball. The defense watched LA shoot 58 percent and failed to execute any sort of a motion offense.

You knew things were bad when Kenny Atkinson gets a technical foul. Atkinson was frustrated with the refs and picked up his first T of his head coaching career, and the first T for the Nets this season. Trevor Booker soon followed with one of his own in the second quarter.

The Nets were frustrated. After mounting a bit of a comeback in the second, they reverted and fell down by 35 points in the the third quarter.  After that, it was clear the bench.

Chris Paul orchestrated the Clippers’ offense wonderfully, finishing with 21 points and nine assists. Blake Griffin scored 20 points and Jamal Crawford chipped in 17 off the bench.

There weren’t many positives. Bogdanovic was one of the very few, finishing with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Yogi Ferrell was another, finishing with 13 points and four assists. Chris McCullough, fresh off his Long Island Nets assignment also got some burn and scored 13 points in 12 minutes.

Here's a couple of highlights of Ferrell and McCullough for those who went to bed early...

Anthony Bennett also logged 25 minutes and had seven points and nine rebounds. Sean Kilpatrick scored 14 points, but shot 5-of-17 and committed five turnovers in 18 minutes. It’s hardly his fault. He’s playing out of position, and looked extremely uncomfortable.

Overall, the Clippers shot 53 percent and 14-of-25 (56 percent) from 3-point, while the Nets 42 percent and 10-of-33 (30 percent) from 3-point range. They also committed more turnovers (21) than assists (18).

It was the highest number of points the Clippers have scored this season.

The message for Brooklyn?

"Flush it and get ready for tomorrow," Kenny Atkinson told reporters after the game. They’ll have a chance to redeem themselves tomorrow night in the same building against the Los Angeles Lakers. Lopez will be active.

Doc takes notice

Doc Rivers is one of many taking notice of Brooklyn’s gritty play. Kudos to him and the Clippers for not sleeping on the Nets.

He had some very nice words to say about the Nets before the game.

That team, picked for dead last in the East, finished one game short of the playoffs.